Modern United States Postage Stamps have not always been a good investment. That is, unless you know what to buy. Some stamps never increase in value, while others may demand a sizeable premium over face value in just a few years. The trick is to know which stamps will take off and which will not. If you analize past trends, this becomes much easier. Here is what I recommend as an investment. (Please note these are just my opinion and I am not an investment professional.)
Issue:Celebrate the Century
Date:April 1998- Present
The USPS is issuing 10 sheets of 15 different stamps each over two years. You do the math. That's 150 different stamps. In just a few years, each sheet could be selling for $6 plus. These will only cost you $4.95. (Also- They will be next to impossible to acquire used. Save as many as you can.)
Issue:Stagecoach and Ship
Date:March 13 1997
This one is not a great investment. I think that due to the unique design of the stamps, dealers will find that their stock of these stamps have run dry and will be willing to spend up to 10% or more over face value to get them.
Issue:World of Dinosaurs
Date:May 1 1997
Dinosaurs are a popular topic to the general public. They should love these stamps. You may want to save up a pane or two and wait a few years. Also, try to aquire used copies of these stamps. Due to their unique design, they take forever to seperate without ripping. The few mass mailers who still use commemorative postage stamps will not use this issue.
Today the set of two Pacific '97 sheets are selling for $17-$22. This is a great increase over the inital cost of $13.20. Here is what I suggested:
Issue:Pacific 97 souvenir sheets
Date:May 29 1997
Here are two sheets of stamps that could really take off. These are huge question marks. The sheets are only being sold at the Pacific 97 show and by mail order during the show. If too many collectors buy them, then they will not be worth much. If too many collectors write the issue off, the sheets could be worth a small fortune. Or it could fall somewhere in the middle, with an immediate modest increase from over face value. My advice--Buy a sheet of each. You have nothing to lose.
Either way, these stamps will be extremely rare in used condition. They are only being sold to collectors. If you are sending out any large packages where you will be able to recieve the stamps back, use these.